Five pairs of simple gemstone stud earrings—one garnet, another jade, yet another sapphire, and so on—which each seem to match perfectly in cut and clarity, but upon the closest inspection reveal themselves to be barely similar at all.
The problem is not hard to articulate. A utopia or dystopia will almost certainly be arbitrary, a strictly arbitrated reality presented in term of advocacy or disavowal; but it is something else to narrate one arbitrarily.
Even though developed several decades apart (The Black Panther appeared in 1966, and Coming to America was released in 1988), and written by people on different spectrums of the United States’ Salad Bowl (The Black Panther was developed by Jewish Americans Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, while Coming to America was created by African American Eddie Murphy), both share similarities that make them an interesting comparison in how fictional Africa is perceived and narrated through the lens of mainstream American media, in both positive and negative ways.
In prior editions of Metagames, I've talked about how games have the artistic potential to put players through entirely different emotional experiences than non-interactive media. This isn't really a review column, but for once, I'd like to break precedent and discuss a single game at length, from multiple angles. This game is proof that the tools all exist already to make layered and powerful narratives native to digital media—artistic works that can scarcely be compared to anything that's come before.
That game is Horizon Zero Dawn. This game casts you as Aloy, a young hunter from the matriarchal Nora tribe. The world she lives in is a lush, almost primordial paradise—that humans share with dangerous, animal-like robots of mysterious origin.
There are some writers who did not write enough. Claudia J. Edwards is one of those. In her writing career, she published only four books—one a year between 1986 and 1989. And then she faded from view. I don’t know what became of her or why she stopped writing, but I wish very much she had written more.
I went to the Dr. Strange movie in November, soon after it opened. It has taken me this long to finish a review, due to being distracted by the US election.
The original Dr. Strange comic began in the 1960s, drawn by Steve Ditko, and the movie has very much a 1960s feeling. It's a psychedelic tour de force. Dr. Strange falls into other dimensions, which are weird as hell, and there are magical fights in which buildings fold and twist, until you don't know what you are looking at. I didn't do drugs in the 1960s, but I saw the posters and 2001.
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